PHOTO: The moment Mary Bishop learned she and Sharon won their case in Oklahoma
January 16, 2014
It's been a big week for the freedom to marry in Oklahoma - but perhaps most personally, it's been a big week for Mary Bishop and Sharon Baldwin, who after nearly a decade of waiting for their day in court were granted a ruling in Bishop v. United States, the lawsuit they filed seeking the freedom to marry in 2004. On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Terence Kern ruled that laws in Oklahoma prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying are unconstitutional. The federal judge has also issued a stay on the ruling pending appeal, so same-sex couples will not be immediately allowed to receive marriage licenses.
Still, it was a sweet victory for Mary and Sharon, representing thousands of gay and lesbian people in the Sooner State. Mary and Sharon, a Tulsa couple together for 17 years, are the lead plaintiffs in a case that also include Gay Phillips & Susan Barton, who were legally married in Canada and were joined together in civil union in Vermont.
Mary and Sharon work together as journalists and editors at The Tulsa World, a newspaper in Tulsa, OK. They shared a photo of the moment Mary learned that she had Sharon had won the case on the Facebook page Oklahoma Marriage Equality Lawsuit.
They also shared how the learned the news on MSNBC. They said (watch below):
We had just walked into work - we work roughly a 4:00 to midnight shift in a newsroom, so shortly after we got there, people in the newsroom became aware that the decision had been filed. So we ran over to the federal court reporter's desk and started looking over his shoulder at his computer to see what it said.
There are no logical reasons to withhold marriage from us or couples like us. There is no state interest that's served by preventing us from getting married, and the state has talked about how marriage is important to family stability. We are a family, and we'd like that benefit as well.